Social Media has its pros and cons. One of the biggest pros is interacting with people from all over the world. Being able to share and talk about your business with other peers in different countries of the world gives you a broader knowledge of cultures, traditions, and our favorite topic…weddings!
The TWIPS community is an international community of wedding bloggers and professionals that are not only supported locally but are supported internationally as well. When a person becomes of TWIPS, whether in the USA or in a foreign country, they are equally supported. The TWIPS community has no borders.
Today I am happy to introduce you to two wonderfully supportive members of the TWIPS community, who happen to be from across the pond, Louise of Bijoux Bride and Gaby of Cap Classique. In case you have never heard that phrase before, the pond is the Atlantic Ocean. These women are not only TWIPS they are also pals in real life which makes this Tweet a Tete doubly good. It is our pleasure to share with you a little about the life of Bijoux Bride and Cap Classique.
How did you get started blogging?
Gaby: Okay, this is quite random. A while back, I’d just got out of a relationship and suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. I initially started a blog about breakups, since that was what was on my mind, and although I quickly got tired of writing about that, it’s how I learned the ropes and found my writing ‘voice’. I’d always been interested in weddings from a design perspective, and I kept thinking that the amazing South African planners and photographers deserved more exposure. I knew that if I didn’t do it, eventually someone else would, so I just jumped on in and that was that! From breakups to weddings. Weird, but true.
Louise: I started blogging in March this year after my wedding in South Africa, and the reason I started blogging was because you asked to feature my wedding! I was still reading all my wedding blogs and still into the whole wedding thing so I decided that I shouldn’t let all that passion go to waste and started my own blog! And that was it, seven days later, Bijoux Bride was born.
What inspires you on a daily basis and how do you keep it flowing?
Louise: Reading lots and lots of wedding blogs – I think I’ve got about 250 blogs on my Reader and I try and read as many as I can every day. Not just wedding blogs, but inspiration from interiors and crafts and fashion blogs as well. And Pinterest! It has some great ideas.
Gaby: I’m probably quite similar – I also have an overflowing Reader! I’m naturally curious and I have a good visual memory so if I see something that interests me I’ll follow it somewhere else, and I’ll follow that somewhere else and so on, and along the way I find a lot of inspiration. I’m also inspired by whatever is happening around me – films or art or fashion, or just random things I come across that catch my attention.
Louise: The other thing that’s inspired me recently has been when real brides have contacted me and asked for ideas – it gives you another reason for doing what you’re doing. Knowing that you can change their views slightly and try to make their wedding more unique to them, or show them something they haven’t already thought of.
What’s your worst habit?
Louise: My worst habit is probably biting my nails when I was younger, which means that I have the worst nails now – not really appropriate for a wedding blogger! And also, putting nail varnish on when I’m on my way out so it gets smudged and doesn’t look very good.
Gaby: Procrastination is absolutely my worst, which also often leads to being late for every appointment as you will know by now!
What’s your biggest social peeve?
Louise: I’ve got a social media pet peeve. People promoting themselves on my Facebook page annoy the life out of me. I liken it to a door-to-door salesman.
Gaby: I hate to say it, but as an editor in my day job, my biggest pet peeve is spelling and grammar. When people talk about brides walking up the ‘isle’, or use ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’, it makes me die a little inside. I try to suppress my proofreader nature, but sometimes it gets the better of me.
What do you do to get past creative or blogger’s block?
Louise: Any kind of creative block, you just have to walk away from it. Go away, do something else, sleep on it, then look at it with a fresh pair of eyes because the more time you spend stressing and fussing over it, the worse it gets.
Gaby: I agree, if you’ve lost your creativity and you don’t know what to do with something or which direction it’s going in, I think it’s best to go away, but I sometimes I’ll be in the middle of something and I get bored halfway through, and I already know how it’s going to end – those times I think it’s best to just plough through it. With real weddings, if I’ve run out of new things to say about them (how many times can I call something gorgeous and swoonworthy?) I go back to the photographs and the joy in them, and try to find a new perspective. Remembering what we’re doing this for – this is one of the biggest moments in people’s lives – that’s always going to be inspiring.
How do you take your coffee?
Louise: With chocolate in it! It’s got to be a mocha. Hot in the winter, cold in the summer, but it always has chocolate in it. And no sugar. I can’t stand sugar in my coffee.
Gaby: I hate coffee, and I’m not crazy about tea either, so I drink Red Bull for my caffeine fix instead. I take it cold, and first thing in the morning. Not the healthiest habit.
What’s your favourite perfume?
Louise: Prada Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger, which I wore on my wedding day.
Gaby: Ah! That’s lovely! My favourite is DKNY. It’s kind of my signature perfume – my friends say they think of me whenever they smell it somewhere.
How has the online community changed your life?
Louise: Well, without it I wouldn’t have a wedding blog, I wouldn’t be meeting all the fantastic people I meet every day, I wouldn’t be sitting here having lunch with you! I think the biggest thing for me has been meeting women who still have their own career and identity, even though they’re married or have children and they’ve proved to me that you don’t have to be this hard-nosed career woman to get what you want.
Gaby: I think that’s so true, and it’s a very supportive community for women especially. I suppose for me… what hasn’t it changed? I’m about to be unemployed because of social media! In a good way – I’m in the process of going freelance at the moment. If I hadn’t started blogging, I would never have had my own business. Ask me in a year and I’ll tell you if social media ruined my life or made it amazing!
Where do you write your blog?
Louise: It used to be in our ‘everything room’ – dressing room, spare room, ironing room, laundry room, junk room, study, office, everything – but we’ve just taken all the junk out and made it into my office, which involved getting a 3.6 metre worktop in through the bedroom window. That’s all set up now and I’ve just got a shiny new Mac, which I’m threatening to throw out the window! It’s a lovely place to work – in the morning the sun streams in through the window and it’s very light and bright and airy. Better than sitting on the sofa getting a bad back.
Gaby: I’ve been working from bed and the couch mostly. But having just moved, I’ll be working from my lovely new office as soon as I’ve finished painting it – one entire wall is chalkboard and I’ve run out of paint! When the sun shines, I work from a table in our sunny garden – bliss!
What’s one thing about you we do not know?
Louise: I’m obsessed with napkins and ribbons! If anyone’s got any great ideas of how to fold napkins then tell me about them! And ribbons – I have a bit of an obsession. Every shoot I do I buy about 10-20 different ribbons and I still have reams and reams of ribbon left over from the wedding. You can use it for everything, to make it look pretty.
Gaby: I hate musicals. HATE THEM. No exceptions. People always think I’m a show tunes kinda gal, but I’m so not, I’ve never even been to the West End. Weirdly, I still watch Glee, but half the time when they sing, I turn the sound off.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
Gaby: Pretty easy for me. Any tall, broad, rugby playing types. Pierre Spies, James Cracknell, that sort of thing. Let’s just say that if my life was Twilight, Edward wouldn’t have stood a chance once Jacob got his guns!
Louise: I’m not good with celebrity crushes. I can’t even think of one right now!
What do you think makes a good blog?
Gaby: I think something that’s relatable and accessible and gives you the right balance of information and images, because while images are often where the inspiration comes from, it’s frustrating for a bride if they can’t find out how to do something or where to find it or how to replicate it. And I think voice is important – you need to feel that you can relate to the blogger.
Louise: I think some of the blogs I really admire are the ones that have a big following, a community behind them.
Gaby: That’s true, but I think for some of the biggest blogs in any field, there can be an issue when they stop feeling personal and just a bit corporate or like a magazine. And it has to be digestible – sometimes there’s so much content that people can’t get through it on a daily basis. It’s a difficult balance.
PC or Mac?
Gaby: Both, actually! I have a PC for work that I’ve always enjoyed using, but my home computer is a MacBook because it’s pretty! I now have a Mac engineer for a housemate, who’ll be very unhappy if I ever buy another PC, so I suspect it will be Mac all the way from now on!
Louise: I’m a brand new Mac owner, having always been a PC girl. My husband works in IT so he kind of spits on the Mac, but it’s pretty and it works, although at the moment I’m trying to figure out top from bottom so as soon as I don’t know how to do something the PC comes out again.
What would you say is the profile of your reader?
Louise: The Bijoux Bride is planning a wedding that’s all about them. Your wedding is a day you’re going to remember for the rest of your life and though it’s important to your family, there’s going to be other wedding s that are just as important. My brides are style conscious, detail oriented, and they want to do what’s right for them. Intimate doesn’t necessarily have to be about the size of your wedding – if Kate and William got married in front of 500 people, to them that would be an intimate wedding. It’s more about the feel of the day – making sure you can speak to everyone and enjoy the day with your loved ones, but also nobody has an unlimited budget and sometimes the best weddings are small budgets but smaller numbers, so you can afford to be a bit more luxurious and everyone comes away with extra special memories.
Gaby: For Cap Classique, it’s obviously someone who’s getting married in Cape Town – whether they’re based in South Africa or somewhere else, and whether they’re South African or not, the Cape is the common factor. Someone who wants to explore the area, look at all the different options and wants to have one place online where they can find everything they need to get started. Cape Town and South Africa have some of the most phenomenal service providers and venues. I think my readers are also people who want to take the best ideas they’ve seen elsewhere and personalise them, and essentially just throw an awesome party for their friends and family.
How would you describe your blog in 140 characters or less?
Louise: I know how I’d describe Cap Classique – like a good glass of champagne, full of sparkle, life and bubbles!
Gaby: Ah, that’s awesome! How would I sum up Bijoux Bride… Actually, I think you do it best with your tagline: small but perfectly formed.
All images photographed by Monica Dart